Amazon's top selling laptop doesn't run Windows or Mac OS, it runs Linux

According to Amazon, the number one selling laptop isn't a Windows PC or a Mac, it's the Samsung Chromebook, which runs Google's Linux-based Chrome OS.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
The best selling laptop of the day? The Linux-based Chromebook.

We all know now that Windows 8 sales have been.... disappointing. You can blame the hardware. You can blame Windows 8's mixed-up interfaces. You can blame the rise of tablets and smartphones. Whatever. The bottom line is Windows 8 PC and laptop sales have been slow. So, what, according to Amazon, in this winter of Windows 8 discontent has been the best selling laptop? It's Samsung's ARM-powered, Linux-based Chromebook.

Shocked? Amazed? Why? The Chromebook has several things going for it.

The Chromebook Gallery

First, it's cheap. The list price for $249. On Amazon, it's currently going for more than that: $317. Why is it selling for more? It appears that retailers are taking advantage of the demand for this lightweight laptop. Even at that price it's cheaper thanany of the other laptops in Amazon's top 20 laptop list.

Second, anyone who can use a Web browser can use a Chromebook. After all its interface is primarily the Chrome Web browser. Who can't use a browser?

True, there is Linux under the hood but you have to go out of your way to find it. Windows 8 PCs, on the other hand, require you to re-learn how you use your desktop. Advantage: Chrome.

Don't think that just because Chromebook works best with the Web that it's helpless without an Internet connection. It's not. For example, you can edit documents even without an Internet connection to Google Docs/Google Drive.

As others are also discovering, the Chromebook works really well for daily work.. To quote ZDNet's own James Kendrick, my "recent purchase of a Chromebook surprised me by proving how well it works for me. After a week of using the Chromebook, that surprise has morphed into total satisfaction."

He's not the only one. Think about your own work. Do you spend 90% of your time working on the Web? Using software-as-a-service or Web apps most of the time? If you do, you might just find, as Amazon buyers have, that a Linux-powered Chromebook is all the laptop you need.

Related Stories:

Editorial standards